218612 Finding the Invisible in a Time of Flu

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lawrence Eisenstein, MD, Deputy Commissioner, Nassau County Department of Health , Department of Health, Nassau County Department of Health, Uniondale, NY
Using designated emergency funding, we set out to vaccinate our county's population against H1N1. Besides medical settings, our program had numerous phases of outreach. One phase involved reaching the “invisible population.” This included bringing vaccination PODs to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, day-laborers awaiting work, and even homeless people living in the woods. We accomplished this with collaboration of other county agencies. Our endeavor was met with great appreciation, and resulted in vaccination of many people who otherwise would be unprotected. We describe our collaboration, methods, successes and failures during this time of crisis. Our numeric results show the significance of our work, which may be a model for future pandemics.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. To describe processes for finding and vaccinating extremely underserved populations during a flu pandemic 2. To describe demand for vaccination in populations using homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and day laboror settings. 3. To explain that outreach to hidden populations such as the homeless is anattainable, important public health initiative during a pandemic.

Keywords: Homeless Health Care, Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am Deputy Commissioner with oversight of our H1N1 vaccination program
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.